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How Jef Raskin Helped Shape Apple In The Early 80's

How Jef Raskin Helped Shape Apple In The Early 80's

In my first conversations with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, back in the garage that was the original location of Apple, I argued that the Apple I (and later, the II) needed upper- and lowercase on both keyboard and screen. At the time they disagreed rather strongly–a position they now somewhat regret having taken.

The above quote is taken from a memo sent by Jef Raskin to Steve Jobs in 1981. The memo was written over concerns Raskin had about Jobs over management of hardware development. From reading the memo, Raskin proved to be an authoritative figure that strongly influenced the underlying principles of a young Apple.

Raskin outlined two basic principles mentioned in the memo that brought shape and focus to the company in its early years:

  • little reliance on peripheral slots
  • build in the peripherals (keyboard, monitor, and storage)
  • innovation to be chosen over backward compatibility

The introduction of standards was also a key factor in the long term success of Apple.

The company is considering making the keyboard design standard across a number of present and future products–which would, in the long run, prove effective from many points of view such as cost, user acceptance, ease of documentation and uniformity of software design.

The full memo can be read below.

Macintosh Project Genesis and History: 1981 Memo

(Via Aza Raskin)



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